Ladies and gentlemen, I fly out to Georgia to start my “walkabout”. It was a super impromptu decesion to make this trip, and there are a lot of things working against me, but I am doing it! Original plan was to hit up 1100 miles from Amicola State Park in Georgia, to Harper’s Ferry Virginia. I might not be able to make it due to family issues around June 20th. That only gives me a few weeks to walk vs. A couple months. I’m nervous and excited. I am not worried about pushing thought the woods in a physical sense, (even though I am afraid of lightning), but I am worried about all the “adulting” I have to do. Job, licenses, vehicle registration, moving, VA benifits, no unemployment, etc. I have a lot on my plate, but I need this walk. It comes at a crucial time in life. Recently separated from the military after more than a decade, multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and just recently a military prison sentence of 15 months.
My entire life has been lived for someone else. For other people! Trying to impress the foster parents coming to pick us out of the group, just like you would at a puppy store. “Pick me” “pick me” I would say. Trying to make new friends in elementary school. I was always insecure, worried, but out going and overly nice. I would let everyone walk all over me. I realize why the other kids acted so cool, stuck up, like they had no worries in the world…because they didn’t!!! They had parents, a home, people that loved them. Here I was at 6,8, 10, 12 years old and I had been in the system, bounced around place to place. Found abusive parents who would curse and lock us in closets telling us the devil was in there, or molesting adults who would do things to us when we didn’t know it was wrong or right. Afterall, they were adults. They hadn’t seen that kind of stuff so they kept their nose tipped up, meanwhile I’m trying so hard to get love and affection. That’s just when I was a boy. McEntire adult life took on that personality. The you need to be loved personality. Then joining the Army after high school….man, I got my ass kicked over and over. It made me harder than I was, gave me this switch that I could use to call upon all the anger in my lifexperience, and explode it on people. Bad guys, terrorists, dogs, or loved ones. PTSD has now joined the party. I went through years of trying to be a stellar solder, while fighting these demons from childhood, and demons from war. Years later I went to prison for 15 months. I got out this January, and got out of the military in March.
So yeah, when I say I need this walk….that’s just a snap shot of what I am taking out there, what I want to face head on, and like a snake, shed off my old skin and come the real me.